Home > Topics

Is Gambling Moral? What Does the Bible Say?

Gambling: moral or immoralFrom time to time our law-makers discuss whether or not to legalize still more gambling. But civil rulers cannot make a practice morally right. The morality of a practice can be determined only by the Bible. What does the Bible say about gambling?

To answer this question properly, we must first know what gambling is. Gambling is betting on a game of chance -- risking loss of property in exchange for the opportunity to take someone else's possessions, with nothing of equal value being given to repay the loser. Is such a practice acceptable according to God's law?

The Bible records three ways a person may lawfully obtain a possession from someone else. He may earn it by constructive labor. He may purchase it. Or he may receive it as a gift, if the owner freely and willingly chooses to donate it to him. See Matt. 20:1-5; 13:45,46; and Acts 20:35. But gambling does not fit any of these categories. Therefore, gambling is a morally illegitimate means of taking possessions from others, regardless of the size of the stakes..

The gambler has too strong a desire for the possessions of others. He seeks to "get something for nothing." He wants to take what belongs to others without giving proper payment. The Bible has a name for this attitude. It is called "covetousness" or "greed," and it is forbidden by God in both the Old and New Testaments (see Exo. 20:17; Acts 20:33-35; Rom. 1:29-32).

Jesus said, "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" (Matthew 7:12). Does the gambler practice the "Golden Rule"? Is he not trying to take other people's money -- the very thing he does not want them to do to him? Again Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). Does the gambler believe this, or does he think it is more blessed to take than to give?

Moral issues are decided in Heaven, not state capitals or Washington.

For more information about various moral issues, please visit our Bible Instruction web site at /instruct/ and study our in-depth articles. 

(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2/5/2005

To study more articles like this (syndicated for reproduction) visit our Bible study topics web site. This article is freely available to be reproduced in print or on a web site under the following conditions: (1) The article must be reproduced verbatim in total without any change in content, (2) the name of the author and web site addresses must be included (as in this trailer), (3) the use must be entirely non-commercial with no fee or financial charge of any kind to the readers. Click here for more information about our copyright guidelines.

For a complete list of Bible articles and study materials by the author please visit these web sites: https://www.gospelway.com and https://www.biblestudylessons.com

Bible study topics: brief articles free online View our menu of brief Bible Study Topics and articles

See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) if you have questions about our site or author.

Bible Courses, Commentaries, Class Books
Bible Articles by Email

Follow us at:

Subscribe to our free Bible study email lists.  Bible Study group on Facebook (R)Free Bible study materials from Gospel Way Bible study videos by David E. Pratte on YouTube Bible study articles from Pratte-Brailey PublicationsGospelway Bible study blogRSS Bible study feedFree Bible study materialsSpecial Bible studies 1st and 3rd Saturdays monthly at American Legion Hall in Utica, OhioE-mail us at the Gospel Way

Links from other web sites to this page or to our home page are welcome and encouraged:
www.gospelway.com The Gospel Way: Free Bible Study Online Materials & Guides

Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.

Hit-meter: 43823282